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Why Keir for your CFP® Exam Review?

keir-resources-2017-800x350We are often asked, “Why should I use Keir for my CFP® exam review?” We have many answers…our top 3, in no particular order.


Material. This may be a long one, as there is much to say. We update our material before each of the 3 exams each year. Our material is based on the 72 Principle Knowledge Topics set by the CFP Board. We follow the CFP Board objectives, contextual variables and Job Task Domains. This does cause us a major re-write when the Job Task Analysis is completed every 5 years, but we believe it helps the students think more along the path of a CFP® professional.


We have also integrated our trade-marked study method, THINK LIKE A PLANNER® into the process. This study method emphasizes the CFP Board Ethics and Code of Conduct in the financial planning process. It also helps us explain how all this information will be used in your new life as a CFP® certificant. Our TLP study method is delivered in a way to fit your learning style.


Students naturally lean toward specific learning styles; auditory, visual, tactile or combination. Auditory learners take more from hearing information rather than reading. We created 20 plus hours of audio review you can download to any MP3 device. Visual learners are often taking notes in color, grouping material or building other visuals. We have created our Key Concept Infographics to appeal to this group. Study information is delivered in graphs, colors, information grouping, pictorials and diagrams. For more active learners, often referred to as tactile or kinaesthetic, we will send a set of flash cards that have structured activities to enhance learning. For those that are a little bit of all learning styles, we offer the combination learner package. It includes all the learning style tools plus calculator and formula recorded classes.


Lastly, we have constructed our study schedules based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. What this means to you is we take you through the facts and figures and then apply them to a case study situation, moving lastly into comprehensive cases and simulated exams. It truly is a great way to build your knowledge.


Instructors and Support. We don’t really like to brag BUT, we do have fabulous instructors. Each of our instructors is vetted by our senior staff, they observe a class, and co-teach a class with our senior instructor before running their own class. We look for a CFP® professional that not only has client experience but teaching or training experience.


We provide a dedicated email box to our CFP® exam students. This email box is monitored by no less than two instructors, three or four in the height of exam season. You will also have phone access to our full-time instructors for quick questions, or to set up a time for longer questions.


Classes. We have live classes and virtual classes to meet your needs. Our live classes meet 4 consecutive days in select U.S. cities. We offer three virtual options to fit your schedule. If you have a hard time setting up your study schedule and committing to it, our 10-week virtual class is for you! It meets once a week for the 10 weeks leading up to the exam, really helping to structure your time. All virtual classes are recorded for your use. You won’t have to worry about missing a portion of class, or needing to hear something again.


If you have questions or would like more information, please feel free to call us! 800-795-5347 or try our website – Happy Studying!

The Top 5 Factors That Affect FICO Scores

Credit information form

One way for planners to help clients access credit at lower interest rates is to teach them how to manage their FICO scores. This score can range from 330 to 850. The higher the score, the better. To get the best interest rates, clients should try to keep their FICO scores at 760 or higher. The score value is based on information from credit reports. Understanding how this information affects the score can provide an opportunity for planners to help clients make the right decisions to increase their FICO scores.


Payment History, Amount Owed and Length of Credit History


Payment history is the largest factor in the score. Planners should make sure clients understand the importance of making payments on time. When students enter college, they will typically apply for their first credit card. Students should do so with the understanding that failing to make timely payments can impact their ability to qualify for other types of credit like auto and home loans. This impact can continue well into the future.


The second major factor affecting the FICO score is the amount that’s owed. It’s an assessment of whether or not a borrower might already be overextended on credit. Being overextended means the borrower may have borrowed so much that he or she is unable to make the payments required on this amount of debt. Utilization affects the score positively if credit cards are used periodically and paid on time, but there is no effect on the score if someone has a credit card available but never uses it.


The longer the credit history, the better the score. In the example of the college student getting his first credit card and making timely payments, he’s also increasing his credit score for buying a home in the future by having a longer credit history from the credit card account.


Types of Credit and New Credit


Ten percent of the FICO score comes from looking at the types of credit that are used. These types include credit cards, retail cards, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans. Having a credit card and using it responsibly provides a higher score than not having any credit cards at all.


The final category that affects the FICO score is new credit. Opening several accounts in a short period of time can indicate a higher credit risk and will lower the score.


Checking a Credit Score


When a consumer checks his or her own credit score, there is no impact on the score, and it is recommended that clients check credit reports on a regular basis to identify and correct any errors and to ensure that there has not been an identity theft situation. Every individual is entitled to one free copy of the credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year. A good practice to monitor activity throughout the year by requesting a report from a different company every four months.

The Best Ways for Financial Advisors to Boost Business Going Into 2016

Happy New Year

Even though there are still a couple months until 2016 arrives, the holiday season always puts everything on the fast track. As a result, now is the time for financial advisors to start thinking about what they’re going to do to boost business in 2016.


Create a Crystal Clear Value Proposition


A simple but effective way for trained financial advisors to stand out from competitors is to identify the unique traits they bring to the table. By taking time to clearly identify those traits and even write them down, certified financial planners can get a much better understanding of where to spend their time and energy.


Embrace Saying No


Saying no may seem like the exact opposite of what an advisor who’s trying to grow their business should do. However, the reason that saying no can be extremely important ties in directly to the previous section on coming up with a clear value proposition.


If a financial advisor tries to be everything to everyone, they’re going to end up blending in with the rest of the industry. On the other hand, a financial advisor who knows exactly who they want to work with and isn’t afraid of saying no to potential clients who don’t fit that profile will be able to get where they want in far less time.


Avoid Chasing Trends


It’s easy for professionals in any industry to get caught up in trends and hype. The important thing to remember is just because something is being hyped as “the next big thing” doesn’t always mean it’s going to pay off. A better option for financial planning professionals is to look where money is actually being spent and then carve out new opportunities.


For example, even though millennials get a lot of attention, many simply don’t have the resources to pay for financial planning services. On the other hand, a large percentage of individuals over 65 have the resources and desire to work with an advisor. By focusing and innovating within a segment like seniors, savvy advisors may find the right channel they need to significantly grow their business.


Invest in Team Training


Regardless of how hard a financial advisor works, they can only take a business so far on their own. In order to continue growing, an advisor must build a team. And for a business to really flourish, that team needs to be as skilled as possible. The good news is even if an advisor is bringing in younger team members with significantly less experience, it’s possible to close the gap.


The key to doing so is investing heavily in team training. By making this a priority, a business can enjoy all the benefits and growth that go along with having the best possible team in place.

What Should Financial Advisors Focus on During the Rest of 2015?

Year 2015 business success

As 2015 moves towards its final quarter, financial advisors still have time to ensure they end the year in an optimal position. For trained financial advisors who want to expand their business, there are several key areas that should be prioritized for the remainder of the year. The areas where certified financial planners should focus their attention during the next four months are:

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